Google Assistant is adding keyboard input, loads of new languages, and lots more

Google CEO Sundar Pichai talks about the Google Assistant, which will power the company's new line of smartphones and a voice-activated speaker.

It’s clear that AI is going to be the next big thing in mobile and there’s nobody making greater strides in this area than Google. While functional, there are still plenty of things holding Google Assistant back. For a service you have to speak to in order to perform searches, limited language support was a big one.

Today, during Google I/O 2017, Google has announced that they’re officially expanding Google Assistant’s language support to include French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese. The rollout wont begin until this summer, so don’t try speaking French to Assistant just yet. They also mentioned that Italian, Spanish, Korean will be supported by end of year.

Another big addition to Assistant is the ability to finally type out a query instead of speaking it aloud. Whether you’re in a public place, church, or meeting, you can pull information up on just about anything using your phone’s keyboard. Why this wasn’t a feature to begin with, we’ll never know. Oh, and Assistant is now finally available on the iPhone, so there’s that.

When it comes to Assistant’s smarts, Google has announced two “new ways to get useful things done” adding:

  • Schedule new calendar appointments and create reminders. Starting today on Google Home, you can schedule appointments and soon you’ll also be able to add reminders. Since it’s the same Google Assistant across devices, you’ll be able to get a reminder at home or on the go.
  • Make your home smarter. We now have 70+ smart home partners supporting the Google Assistant across Google Home and Android phones, including August locks, TP-Link, Honeywell, Logitech, and LG.

Google also talked a lot about how their developer platform is getting stronger with 3rd party services now available on your phone and support for transactions. The demo they gave was simply ordering delivery from Panera with a bot that jumped into the conversation to take the order and set up a delivery. Nothing to install on the device nor account creation. Just simple and fast.

Google also hopes that we’ll start seeing new products infused with Google Assistant thanks to their new Google Assistant SDK. Everything from cars, toys, robots, whatever — you can expect to see a plethora of these in the coming months. All you have to do is look for the “Google Assistant Built-in” logo on the box.

You can expect to see Google Assistant hitting new countries later this year where it will finally be launching in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

Stay tuned for more Google I/O coverage.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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